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Today, having swigged a half-liter

Of lemon vodka with a friend,

I, a vegetable garden crawler,

Take in the light of distant stars.

They are galaxies, I know,

But they seem like turnips to me:

He who sowed them, one day,

Will pull them out by the hair.

Today I saw how a guess

Staggered in the desert air—

Rain sprinkled on the dill

And vouchsafed to me:

I am here to live humbly,

Letting my root into infinity.

I am here to become powerless,

And, without power, become strong.


Translated from the Russian by Philip Metres

All translated work in this issue is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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